Senate approved large funds requests from UNICEF and Common Ground and discussed the holding of future elections at their meeting last Thursday, Feb. 13. in Wilson House.
Senate also discussed and voted on the issue of the graffiti wall, as discussed in this week’s story on the graffiti wall.
Knox’s Chapter of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) requested $925 in funds from Student Senate, which would go towards funding the group’s attendance of a UNICEF conference.
UNICEF’s representative stated that the club’s exec intended to go on the trip, and they had been attempting to go to the conference for the past four years without it working out. Senate approved the request.
Senator Ashley Kerley, senior, made a $2,000 request on behalf of Common Ground to bring in Hayden Kristal, a deaf queer activist, to do an interactive workshop based around American Sign Language and LGBTQ+ terms.
Kerley noted that funding for the event was also coming from Common Ground’s budget, alumni donations and support from Union Board. The event is planned to take place in May. Common Ground’s request was approved.
Treasurer Andrew Liput, junior, was asked for his opinion on Senate’s ability to handle large requests from Senate’s budget. Liput respond by reiterating his belief that Senate is on track to erase its deficit and was close to guaranteed to not have to go into its saving.
Smash House was also approved for an $80 request to hold a “Nostalgia Night” event.
Election Process Reform
Vice President Carly Rieger, sophomore, spoke to Senate about the possibility of having some form of in-person voting for the upcoming Chairperson Elections.
Rieger’s idea would be to have senators table with a laptop so that students could come up to them to cast their vote. Senate held a straw poll regarding the idea, in which most senators expressed their approval of the concept.
Rieger expects that voting for the Chair positions will begin on Thursday Feb. 20, following debates on that same afternoon.
During Class Reports, concern was expressed about whether the timeframe for the holding of elections was too slim in nature and if the debate for the prior election was insufficiently advertised.
Ideas that came out of Senate’s ensuing discussion included having time for ballot statements to be sent out and candidates to advertise themselves before voting starts and having election forums that student organizations are invited to moderate.
Rieger stated that if any of the suggested ideas went forward, it would potentially alter the planned timeline for Senate’s election tabling.
The next meeting of Student Senate will be held on Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Trustees Room of Alumni Hall.